Alumni Spotlight: Alexandra Beneke
Alexandra Beneke (She/Her)
Major: PSY BA (Fall 2020)
Position: Mental Health Technician
What is your work like? What are your duties?
I work in a day treatment center for children age 2-6 who have been, or are in the process of being, diagnosed with autism. I work as part of an integrated team to help implement and track the progress of individual social, emotional, and foundational goals in order to build skills and help prepare the kids for school and life in general!
How would you say your psychology degree has helped you with your current job?
My degree definitely helped by giving me multiple perspectives from which to approach my job. It gave me a foundational understanding of development and neurodiversity that I've gotten to develop further through my work.
In what way has your major complemented your current job?
As I said, it gave me a foundation that I've had the privilege to build off of in my years at Fraser. During my time at the U taking classes in the psychchology department as well as in the developmental psych and neuroscience departments I got to learn about development and all the diversity that can arise across the lifespan. But most importantly, I got to learn about the biopsychosocial model, which let me see that nothing and no one exists in a bubble. We're impacted by so much, both directly and indirectly, and at Fraser I get to make a difference in the lives of my kids by giving them the tools and the space to grow into themselves.
How did you find your current position? Please include any resources you may have used (UMN or otherwise)
I actually learned about Fraser through a friend of mine who was applying there at the time.
What advice do you have for our current psych students and recent grads?
I think the most important thing is to be flexible. Life will never go fully according to plan and often we end up in places we didn't expect a year or more ago. But as hard as it can be to accept some of the twists and turns, I can guarantee that you can find all sorts of joy and fulfillment in places you never thought to look. Which is the other piece of wisdom I'd share: follow your heart, especially when it comes to the work you do. Like it or not, in our society today chances are you're going to spend a significant amount of your time going forward working so you should find joy and purpose in that work. Because cliche as it is, the truth is all the money in the world isn't going to make you happy if you don't enjoy what you do.
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